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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    361

    Default Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    We recently started producing a complete pollen supplement, but I have heard from more than one West coast commercial beekeeper that freight costs too much to make it feasible. Unfortunately, I agree, but there is no way around freight when shipping pollen supplement...

    I would like to get your opinions, especially those that are mixing tons of supplement. I realize commercial beekeepers can buy a great deal of pollen supplement ingredients locally and skip most of the freight charge.

    We currently offer a 5lb per ton vitamin and mineral supplement. This covers the major vitamins and minerals that beekeepers just can't get with standard ingredients. The 5lb per ton supplement is formulated to work with commonly used ingredients beekeepers can buy to make their own pollen supplement. However, with our complete pollen supplement we actually use a premix of vitamins and minerals that accounts for approximately 75-100lbs per ton of dry pollen supplement. By designing the formulation from scratch, we were able to balance all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients more accurately.

    My question is... Would a 75-100lb per ton premix be of interest to commercial beekeepers? I am tossing around the idea of providing the overall pollen supplement formula to go with the 75-100lb per ton premix. This way beekeepers could buy the bulk ingredients locally and then purchase the premix to go with the final supplement formula.

    Thanks for your time and input!

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    No opinions...?

    What I would like to know is if beekeepers are happy with their own current supplement formulas. From what I can gather many beekeepers like their own formulations and do a good job taking care of protein levels, but have a difficult time tending to the vitamin and mineral levels. Any deficient nutrient can be the limiting factor for a formulation whether it is an amino acid, vitamin, mineral, etc. Is a premix of interest if it allows beekeepers to use their own locally available ingredients to mix a standardized formulation and then ad a premix to finish off the mix?

    Thanks,
    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    If the Tucson Bee Laboratory or other qualified agency were to study it and find significant bee population increase results over a control group without the supplement, I would be interested.

    As of the present, I am too small of an operator to buy a bulk quantity next year. I do, however, have the woodenware and queen rearing equipment to grow into a commercial operation over the next 5 years, and I do look very carefully at supplements. Any breakdown you could post or send as a pm would be helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    Kilocharlie,

    Thanks for your input!

    Our original 5 pounds per ton vitamin and mineral supplement is already used by some of the largest beekeeping operations in the US. They add it to their own personal supplement formulas.

    What I would like to do is improve upon our original product. Going from 5 pounds per ton to roughly 75-100 pounds per ton is a big jump, but it is a pretty simple formula. The premix actually contains about 30 vitamins and minerals designed to work with the standard soy, yeast and oil formula.

    For example, the beekeeper would mix:

    x pounds of soy
    x pounds of yeast
    x pounds of oil
    x pounds sugar
    x pounds water
    x pounds of premix

    I would provide the appropriate amounts of soy, yeast and oil to make sure nutrients are balanced. The resulting patties would have a nutritional profile similar to natural pollen. I like to keep things simple!
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    From the nutritional point of honey bee nutritional requirements,
    what are your essential amino acids in the mix?
    Thanks,
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    why is this better than the 5 lb bag of mix you used to sell?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    Ernie,

    Based on our analyses of pollen samples and feeding trials, protein or individual amino acids were not the limiting factor in most formulations. Pollen is very similar in protein composition to many other plant based forms of protein.

    Soy and yeast complement each other pretty well in terms of providing a good protein source, however they need some work in the vitamin, mineral and essential fatty acid department.

    Any nutrient can be a limiting factor and we found that protein was generally not the limiting factor in most processed ingredients.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bristol, Florida, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    Thanks Joe. I'll talk to the other beekeepers and see what they think.
    Gary

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    BtW, I've had good luck so far using HoneyBHealthy and Nosevit, which I add to Crisco / cane sugar / pollen patties. What brewer's yeast do you recommend? Any particular soy flour? What ratio has been showing best results for you and among your customers?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    It is not that the premix is better, just more complete than the 5 pound per ton vitamin and mineral supplement. By developing a diet from scratch, knowing each ingredient, we can better formulate the complete diet.

    Many beekeepers talk about deficiencies, but reaching toxic levels of nutrients is also a concern.
    I don’t have a strong preference for one brand of yeast or soy, but rather look at their spec sheets for nutrients. The ratio of soy to yeast depends on the premix formulation.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hughson, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    How much $ For the 75-100 Lb. premix? Let me do the math and I'll give you an aswer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,854

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    You need to look at the essential amino acid requirements more so than the total amino acid requirements. Also, I would take into consideration if bees prefer to utilize some amino acids over others when building their proteins. Sometimes this is the rate limiting step in protein formation as some amino acids will be utilized heavier than others.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,176

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    You need to look at the essential amino acid requirements more so than the total amino acid requirements. .
    Very good post, there are "TEN" ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID REQUIREMENTS", some manufacturs of pollen sub should read this post, some call there STUFF the gold standard of bee feed with only 9 listed. Yes sir they say "we know bees" Yes they sure know something But it's not bees.
    Last edited by Keith Jarrett; 09-23-2012 at 05:48 PM. Reason: spelling
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    An essential amino acid is an amino acid that an organism cannot make. Honey bees, like other animals and insects can use the building blocks of amino acids to construct a large portion of the needed amino acids. De Groot listed 10 essential amino acids, while many other animal specials list 8 or 9. Providing the essential amino acids is relatively easy with most protein sources and it should be noted that from De Groot’s work levels are listed as the minimum required percent, which strongly suggests a balance is more important for overall efficiency. It is not magic…

    Again, protein, or individual amino acids tend not to be the limiting factor in most supplements provided beekeepers are not relying on a single protein source. Soy and Yeast do complement each other quite well, but then there is the issue of vitamins and minerals, and essential fatty acids that help drive many of the nutritional pathways that allow the bees to utilize the energy of the food they consume.

    This brings me back to original intent of this post. Beekeepers have a pretty good handle on the basic patty formulation, but I do not see many beekeepers looking at the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids in their honey bee diets. Lab assays for vitamin and mineral contents can be very costly and the question is what is the beekeeper to do with the results, what nutrient can they use to provide the lacking vitamin or mineral. Or what vitamin or mineral can they use to offset the excessive amount of a specific nutrient to restore a proper balance?

    It isn’t easy, which is why I asked if a vitamin and mineral premix would be of use to beekeepers, primarily those beekeepers that mix their own patties.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    Joe,
    We mix thousands of pounds of patty mix each year. I would be interested, provided a return on my investment could be demonstrated. I have tried most every mix known to man (mostly given to us by the producer requesting an opinion) with little to no appreciable difference from our mix. Those mixes that gave favorable results were prohibitively expensive for the slight improvement in early (pre almond) frame counts. Our mix varies somewhat every year due to ingredient inventory and I know for a fact that is the case with at least a portion of larger operations. A consistent amino acid/vitamin/mineral base would be great.....provided...........

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    Everybody be sure to click on www.latshawapiaries.com and read Dr. Joe's website. Very impressive!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,854

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    Joe, you provided the response I was looking for and so did Keith. I figured Keith would know what essential amino acids bees needs and it looks like you just didn't throw together a basic mix based on guess work. I dunno, I would probably focus more on how much of the mix is actually utilized by the bees. I don't know if you could ever quantify results on a regular basis unless they were extraordinary. If you get high utilization and the bees aren't just passing it through I'd say you have a good product.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Pollen Supplement Formulation Question

    DBack and JRG13

    Thank you for your input.

    I understand the hesitation of beekeepers when looking at this new approach. There are many products on the market that I question. I am a beekeeper, but also have a research background. My Dad, a research nutritionist, has some 40 years of experience. Together, I think we make a pretty good team.

    Beekeepers are also very price sensitive. which is why we look at many aspects with a cost/benefit analysis. This is a new approach for beekeepers, but standard practice across modern animal production. It will cost a little and require beekeepers to source standard products to help maintain the integrity of the formulation from one year to the next.

    As to consumption, you are correct it is very difficult to standardize feeding trials. Bees will consume most any diet if it is there and the sugar content is high enough. Our goal is the ensure what they are consuming is well balanced and nutritious.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

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